PEOPLE LIVE LONGER, and yet: “The average retirement age is now 62, not 65. Indeed, only 27 percent of Americans retire at age 65 or later, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.”

I find that amazing.

I’m always amazed that people find this amazing. If you work in a stimulating, highly rewarding job like, say, law professor or paid blogger, it makes sense that you might want to keep working past 62. On the other hand, if you’ve slogged away as, say, a Wal-Mart checker or an accounts payable clerk eight hours a day for the past 40 years, it makes perfect sense that you’d want to get the hell out at the earliest possible moment, even if it means accepting a lower Social Security payment. What’s so amazing about this?